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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  August 6, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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the efforts that have been made to integrate and improve our intelligence. i think that i feel nowhere is that better illustrated than on the battlefield of iraq and afghanistan where iafghanistan,e really perfected the art of integrating and forward deploying our multiple intelligence capabilities, so we could bear down on targets. i think what stan mcchrystal accomplished in dismantling al qaeda in iraq was a phenomenal, schmidt, made in part by this integration and reform process, and by great advances in technology that have occurred during the past decade. >> let me come back to something that did happen on your watch. know, theow government went to the pfizer court and said, we have a new
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court- went to the fisa and said, we have a new idea, based on the patriot act. we can authorize investigations under a fisa order, in secret. it could get all the records of all telephone calls. international, national, and purely local. how does that fit with the boundaries the american people would expect, in terms of privacy? >> it is under debate whether we have gone too far in storing and holding that information. maybe congress will revisit that. why would we do it?
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you asked us about the boston marathon. one reason you would do it is, you have all that data. tsarnaev brother, and find out the phone numbers of people they have been in , and with in chechnya bounce them against these numbers you have on file. maybe you will find other people who have been following the same numbers in the database. we have to emphasize this. it is not monitoring the content of american conversations. never has been. never will be. you can only do that if you have got a warrant from a judge. couldn't you, having received the tip about the , sent that to the telephone companies and so on? let's have your records. let's have the metadata. why collect it all?
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>> we would have preferred to have done that. we went to the information companies and said, we would like to be able to come to you with a request, based on probable cause, and find out if this number has talked to any international numbers. the telik commission companies said, you want us to store all that data, all that time, in a formula you can quickly access? we said, yes. that is what we need. they said, these are billing records. we just keep them for the time we need them. he said, can we pay you to do that? we cannot do that. there was a lot of mechanical pieces of this. >> you could tell them to hand over all the records on a daily basis. fisa court compel them? they already keep them for 18
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months. how long do you need it? >> a lot longer than 18 months. >> that is the whole point. once you pick somebody up who has been involved in some untoward act, and has been communicating with parts of the world which may have originated this activity, you want to be able to go back and find out if the numbers in chechnya or was stem --stan -- was era ristan have been calling the united states. maybe that is the debate in congress. you would limit the ability to research this issue, if you were no longer able to keep these records. it will not be for another purpose. >> 250. 10,000.
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5 million. let us talk about what that means. from capitol hill yesterday, at a skeptical house committee, that contact chaining all those numbers -- when you pull those numbers, it is two or three hops. the danger of a reporter doing math, let -- but let me give it a try. suppose the median number of unique contacts for people making phone calls is 100 over the course of a year. 100 -- this0 times is approximately the population of the united states. three hops goes very, very far. when they say they have only pulled 300, with a contact chain -- at least tens of
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millions, including a fair amount of overlap. but probably hundreds of millions of people. >> it is based on trying to that beingthe things --hreat to the united states >> you are prepared to justify this? to talk about the honesty, the straightforwardness of the public debate. -- for example, the fbi was giving out, only when mandated to do this, the number of times it used section 215. in 2009, it said, we have only fisa section 215 orders, using it very sparingly. with three of those orders, you can get one trillion telephone records.
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we having a hypothetical discussion or a real one? is a hypothetical possibility, 10 to the power of, it is just it is not what is happening. >> it is what is happening. 3 billione as few as records that are accessed when we go after 300 targets. but it is a much larger number than they are prepared to talk about. it sounds interesting. >> let me come at this another way. enraged if ire could have found a story in which the activities of the nsa had actually caused inconvenience, damage, harm to un-american. i have not seen that story yet. wasve not seen a person who wrongfully identified to be a terrorist, was thrown in jail,
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given the fifth degree, and so on. there has been more inconvenience and damage to americans by the no-fly list and by taking shoes off in an airport then buy this program, which is precisely pointed toward finding people who pose threats to the united states, see who they are talking to, follow them up under court supervision to identify threats. stuff, this is potential we do not trust the government having information stuff. it is not real harm caused to real people by activities which are causing no good. >> i am not going to debate this, because i am not supposed to be the debater appear. but i am going to play devils advocate with you you. let us put it that way. i will take full accountability for that for our audience here
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and on the webcast. there are two things i would push you on. one is, how would you know if anyone had been harmed by abuse, given that the program is as secret as it is? among rumsfeld speaks about the unknown unknowns. actionld anyone bring an that would discover they have been disadvantaged in some way by this program? i will save the second question. >> if an american came forward and said, i all of a sudden lost my job. i was thrown in jail. i was questioned for 24 hours by fbi agents. i have no reason why this came up. i think it is because i came up mistakenly in this search, and i want to know about it. i think, in this great country of ours, with great reporters like you, us would have come out.
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>> there are a lot of people who lose a lot of jobs or are on the no-fly list, and all kinds of other things. if someone tells me as a reporter, i just know it is because i have been surveilled by a secret program by the nsa, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. the supreme court specifically, in the clapper case, said, you have no standing to find out about this unless you can already demonstrate you were the big them of it. there is not a recourse that allows me to find out if i have suffered any of these harms, whether this is the cause of it. >> come on. when reporters have a sniff that something is not right, you pursue it. and you get people to talk. [applause] >> i am not exactly sure how to take that.
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>> you are parts of the belts and suspenders, and all that we on this thing. it is a very terrible program, in my observation. if there is anything tattooed on the heads of people who go on people in the intelligence system, it is, we do not spy on americans unless we do it in a court ordered, legal way. my experience from the inside is that men and women of the intelligence company take that very seriously. they check themselves every step of the way. they are not rummaging around in trillions of records to try to see if they can find something interesting. they are pursuing specific leads in order to find those who are connected to known threats to the united states, to see if they also pose a threat. i think the program has done well. >> a question i could ask you, ambassador -- besides issues of
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specific harm -- in any kind of , some would program say the standard for demonstrating that it is a problem is that someone is stalking their ex-wife, or something that is clearly an abuse of the program. we trust -- can the american public trust very powerful and secret institutions to check themselves? we entrust an enormous amount of power to these institutions. aret enough to say they going to watch themselves? >> it is not just them watching themselves. when keith alexander, who was the director of nsa, took me to visit the floor of these operations, it is not only the people who are monitoring the situation. the fbi is there. lawyers are there.
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there are many safeguards. there are signs plastered all over the place, the definition of what constitutes an american person. there is congressional oversight. there is an inspector general. there are all kinds of safeguards built into this. i remember george bush, when he talked about this program, when it was first revealed by the new york times. he said, when al qaeda calls somebody in the united states, i want to know who they are calling. that is kind of the underlying philosophy of this program. talking again -- it always intends to spill over into people thinking, maybe we are monitoring the actual content of their conversations, is we are not all stop this metadata. it is effectively the outside of the envelope that is put in your mailbox. it is that information that is on the envelope. and the date stamp in the postage stamp.
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would you have people believe that metadata has no significant privacy interest? i would rather, if i had a choice -- i hope not to have either of these choices -- of having every phone conversation i have for 30 days listens to, which is impractical, to have a large number of people doing all my metadata collected for 30 days. i would much rather. >> if it was collected by proctor and gamble or colgate, i would be worried. sometimes, we do not think about -- where is the real privacy problem in this country? i am not sure it is with your federal government. i think it may be more with how the data is used in the private sector for marketing and other purposes. i would worry if my metadata was available to people pursuing purely commercial purposes, who want to target me for their sales pitches and everything else come up marketing
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strategies and so forth. that is not what this is being used for. they could not care less. >> can i help your devil's advocacy? double advocacy. seriously that i believe that we, those of us who are senior officials in the intelligence community, and so muchhould have done a better job of explaining the general principles of these programs without going into ,itillating individual cases which do nothing but help our adversaries. it is kind of pay me now or pay me later. when something happens and you are operating from a defensive crouch of a snowed in revelation, saying, we are ok -- -- if we had explained
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these, while maintaining security of things that have to be secret, i think we would be in better off shape. as it is, we are whipsawed by revelations into grudgingly putting out pieces of it that make it appear as if we have lots more to hide. i strongly advocate a much more proactive intelligence service. what we are trying to do in the united states is unprecedented, in a democracy with all the openness. to conduct an espionage operation which inherently choirs -- requires quite a degree of secrecy, and maintain what we treasure about our democracy -- he have to recognize that, and be more forthcoming to take the mystery out of intelligence operations while presenting -- while protecting the secrets. i wish we had been sitting down with people like you for five years, instead of waiting until den gives you aow
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lot of information, all -- almost all of which is self- serving. >> that is the tradition. >> i think we could do that much better while maintaining the secrets. the general -- the job of the nsa is to try to listen in on conversations to discover threats to the united states. what a secret, you know? that is their job. that is what they get paid to do. into ane to go exploding area of information technology to do that job. they have to talk to the companies that do this. what a surprise. they have to make arrangements with other governments to have access. what a surprise. all of this stuff, we ought to be talking about in general terms, while not saying, by the way, it is the fourth cable pair on this transit limit -- transatlantic cable. >> are you prepared to say --
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this would be very different from what the obama administration is saying, as recently as yesterday. dnigeneral counsel of the was asked yesterday in a house hearing, do you think you could keep secret indefinitely that you are collecting call data records from all americans? he said, we tried. are you prepared to say that that was a mistake, that there should have been a debate at the time, that you collectively decided that the law allowed you to collect all the records of who communicates with home, both , andhony and internet data a substantial amount of content, and not all of it with orders -- should that have been a public debate? >> i think you are misusing the word collect. the proper word here is store in
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able to be able to have access to when permission is granted. using those terms, yes. i think we could have talked about that. >> i think this is undercutting your case. if you could actually go, once a day, 23 phone companies that have substantially all the phone records, and receive, in your hand, a set of dvd's constituting all the records of a previous day, and put them in a tank somewhere, and say that is not collection -- you are not speaking english as most people understand it. >> i would say you are completely speaking english as most people understand it. there are things that you keep that you have certain procedures which you can then get into. if you collect something, you have got it. to collect something is going in and using the technical means you have in order to gather information that people think is private, and that you do not
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have. that is collection. storing under a court order is an entirely different thing. i think we should ultimately talk about what the government has access to, the conditions under which it is stored, the conditions under which it can then be accessed. that ought to be talked about. >> you are saying that if you frame it right, they should have been, we are ingesting, but not collecting all these records. this is why we think it is important. these are the safeguards. we are not going to get into all the details, but this is the big picture. >> i would not use words like ingesting. but i would say that setting up a system so that you can interrogate these records when you have rubble cause over so many years should have been put out. hold up, if not
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congress does not support it, if the president does not authorize it, we do not do it. if they do, which the congress did without public debate -- congressmen are not pushovers, and they did authorize it. i think it is correct. >> ambassador, it is clearly inr view, the dominant view the administrations of two parties, that these programs are fine. they are natural. they are understandable. it is only a misunderstanding that would lead people to be alarmed. about thencerned substantial wedge between that point of view and what appears to be a growing amount of shock in public opinion? if you take yesterday's hearing to be representative, a view by a substantial majority of members of congress, even on these committees, that they had
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no idea you were interpreting your authorities that way. is it a problem that the public is so out of sync with what you think is natural and normal and acceptable? the way the situation looks now. i think the admiral was making the point that this was legal. it was under a court order. it was being carried out under relevant legislation. if congress wants to change the legislation, they can change it. i am not disturbed, nor am i shocked. it seems to me that this is a natural part of the american political process. practices may, in some way, change. that is not going to particularly disturbed me either. signals intelligence is very important. but it is not the only collection methodology we have got. there is human intelligence. there is geospatial. intelligence is a broad and complex business.
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to come back to the original topic of our meeting -- [applause] off,nk we are much better in terms of the way we integrate that information. i think technology has been our friend. we have gained vast experience from the wars we have been involved in. i think we are very well positioned to deal with collecting and analyzing information, with regard to threats we might face in the future. global threats change, certainly, and there is going to be a discussion of that later today. but i think we have done very, very well against assessed threats that we have in confronting during the past few years. the intel community is in very good shape. all of us worry about these funding issues. when you hear about suesters
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an things, and furloughing people whose jobs are critical to national security, that is a source of great concern. i was thinking about it, reflecting on what general welsh yesterday about the size of the united states air force, recalling my own tour of duty in vietnam. ofn i left saigon in january 1968, the united states had 520,000 troops in vietnam alone. that is the size of the entire united states army today. the proportion of money being spent for defense and intelligence in our overall budget, as a proportion of the national budget, has declined substantially since the end of world war ii, the cold war, and so forth. i get worried when we sit here thinking we are going to be able to squeeze water out of a rock by doing things smarter and with less money. i think we have cut back to the bare bone with the size of our
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american forces, the amount of money we are devoting to national security. if we want to continue to play the role that ashton carter was , being one of the referees in the east asia- pacific region, with rising companies like china -- countries like china and india, we are not going to be able to do it with this sequester-minded approach to national security. we have to get back to an approach to our budget and national security that mirrors the responsibilities we say we have got all stop -- have got. [applause] your i could comment about point on the outrage about what we are doing -- i have into enough rodeos to think i have got it right. when an incident happens and i see outrage that we are not aggressive enough in collecting intelligence and connecting the dots, i know that six months
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later, there will be outrage that we are collecting too much information. you kind of steer down that path. i think we would be better off, as i said, staring down that bothwith more knowledge, for the audiences that care and follow closely, and to the general public, if we made clear the path we are striking between resources, civil liberty and privacy, and getting the job done was being balanced in a straightforward fashion by patriotic americans. >> get your questions ready. you are not lawyers. but you have had a lot of lawyers talking to you over a lot of years. one of the points being made generally on the panel is, these programs are legal. therefore, they are fine. it is not clear to me that we know that. it is clear that they have then approved by fisa courts.
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but every effort of outsiders to bring this to a court of general jurisdiction has been strongly opposed by both recent administrations. administration succeeded in getting the clapper case thrown out for lack of standing, it said the plaintiffs have no evidence that there is large-scale collection or dragnet surveillance, or that anything to do with their communications has been collected. itt is literally true, but does not look good in retrospect. why not allow any of the 18 new theuits, including one by electronic privacy information we want to test the lawfulness of a claim that all american call records could
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possibly be relevant to authorized investigation. why not allow that to get to court? why not allow the supreme court to make a decision on it? >> the supreme court has ruled that business records of companies are not fourth amendment protected information. pieces of this have gotten into the outside court. thathat i would say is to intelligence operations like military operations, in which you require a degree of secrecy to be effective for the larger job, you come up with alternative procedures to what we apply to in whichms classification is not important. you bring in good people. you set up adversarial circumstances. you use the principles we use in completely open issues.
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but you have to do it within a closed bubble in order to continue to be effective. my experience is, we do that very robustly. if you came in as a director of communicationsu wod get a clearance. who would be the same bart is nasty and suspicious and concerned about things. >> that is on my business card. >> we replicate the procedures that america follows of authorizing stuff by legislation , setting decisions by court, supervising it by inspector general's. done in a to be secret way in order that enemies do not find out about it and could therefore it made it. that is the way it goes. >> and do not exclude the possibility of new legislation.
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if congress wants to fix it, they have oversight abilities to hear all this material in classified form and decide whether they want to tweak the law. >> you would prefer to see, i suspect, open debate before the supreme court, but you could go the congressional route to address the concerns you have raised. >> i guess they each have their own functions. one determines what the legislation should be. one determines what is constitutional. my preference would be that both get their shot at it. but that is just me. more,oing to ask only one because i am told there are 20 minutes remaining, and i want to give you time on the floor. briefly, would each of you give your observations on civil , a board oversight essentially created when you came in, and still essentially moribund when you left office in 2010? way of a viable
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overseeing whether privacy and civil liberties are being honored? move very fast, but we did create it during my time. while, and then i think it fell into disuse, and now it has been revived. i do not know what experience you had. >> it was dead when i was there. but i was in favor of it. thisore checks you have in business -- because i agree with misused,c point that the power of the intelligence community can cause great damage. the more checks you have on it, the better. i think it should be there. intelligence's advisory board performs some of those functions. it oversees the entire intelligence community from a separate viewpoint. in theees something civil liberties and privacy area that do not smell right, it can pursue that. i had discussions with members
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of the board, which is very active. one more organization with that charter would be good. >> raise your hands. wave for a microphone. and keep it brief. someone over here. orange shirt. >> thank you. cbs. the one data point on previous discussion -- i have a question that is not related. the supreme court ruled, i believe, that there is no expectation of privacy on metadata. i think that is another factor in this whole discussion. my question is really addressed to both of you in your capacity as former chief of dni. in terms of domestic surveillance and domestic question, our- no
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international intelligence has improved. but notably, there has been the marathonse, the bombing in boston. these were domestic individuals that were in contact with people overseas, and we did not catch those. thedid those slip through cracks? how do we connect those dots? how could we have done that better? capable offbi really doing domestic intelligence? of the things that has happened over time, the is that theor two, definition of the national security community has really broadened. during the cold war, it was state, defense, cia. if you had that group of agencies together, you pretty much had the situation covered. now, you have dhs. one of the major features of intelligence reform, in the
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commission report by silberman to try to rope the fbi more into this process, because they had a habit of delegating investigations to the field. everybody was doing their stuff on a yellow legal pad and never sharing it with anybody else. i think there is more after this decade that has passed -- more of a culture of intelligence in the fbi. i think that has been one of the accomplishments of intelligence reform. has beenbig thing empowering and capacity to the , whichdo more and better was a brand-new agency in 2002, 2003. i think that is now moving, and a lot more has happened. a processthings are that cannot be accomplished overnight. i think it is much better than
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it was, but it is going to take time. localou are thinking of tribal entities, you are thinking of 17,000 police forces in this country. we have a very divided police authority. monitoring this stuff is not easy, domestically. dealt with who have foreign policy and foreign intelligence always approach the issue of domestic intelligence with great skittishness. was somewhatt outside of our comfort zone, how to deal with this, for all the reasons we have spent almost an hour discussing. >> over here. >> thank you. i am with cbs. we have heard from admiral blair. you would prefer these programs the secretive. they will work better. ambassador negroponte, who gets ?o say, trust me only the president of the united
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states? i do not think the nsa has a reputation that the people will trust. who gets to say, trust me? wax speaking briefly about the issue of trust -- this is not an unknown problem in american government. put out what the government policy and general procedures are. congress authorizes them. if there is standing for a court case of some type, you follow it. i think these should be put in the general way that americans that tradequestions off security, resources, and privacy, and civil liberties. youyou have to take -- cannot do it in a completely open way. following the system this country uses to decide the questions. his republic, would have said the nocturnal council,
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right? some hidden, secret body in the back. we do not do that. we are a democracy. when you compare the situation 50 years ago, the extent of oversight is huge. jim's lessons are, who was head of the cia 40 years ago, told me once at lunch that there was no oversight committee them. he would go to brief a senator at lunch about what was going on at the cia. he would start by saying, senator, i would like to tell you some of the things we have been doing lately. the senator said, i would not want to hear that. that was the reaction in those days. if it is intelligence, and you are doing it in the interest of national security, do not risk sharing it widely with people. he felt that just one senator was already too much. thatve gone way beyond now. we are way beyond the gang of eight. rehab committees. we have this and that.
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theave subjected intelligence community to an extraordinary amount of oversight. i think sometimes what i hear the press saying is, we would just like to see it all. i do not think we can do that and still have effective national intelligence. try to get a to couple of quick questions asked. i am going to go to the corners. that is all i think we are going to be able to do. >> the 9/11 commission recommended the creation of the office of dni. and also recommended the andtion of the privacy civil liberties board. unfortunately, neither administration seemed too eager to have a robust privacy and civil liberties board, with authority, subpoena power, and reporting requirements created,
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until it became fully , withional this past may the confirmation of david padilla as chair. it seems that all of you would suggest that greater transparency be injected into the process. there is a lot of misinformation and disinformation that has come out about the overall practices of the intelligence community, and particularly nsa. and i am wondering whether you think that the privacy board has now constituted, as we have discussed over prior years in aspen, is an appropriate mediator of the debate that needs to happen, to both inform the public and to provide greater transparency. or whether that is better conducted in some other forum. >> leave it at that for a
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moment. let us bring in the microphone traveling back there. i am going to take all the questions first. i will add, on the privacy board, it has five members that are supposed to be on 20% time. i think that is one full-time employee to watch the entire intelligence community. >> thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. my was wondering if, entering hasera of cyber warfare acted as a game changer. what i mean by that is, a few years ago, when north korea attacked servers in the u.s., they used servers in britain. they had sent hackers to japan before, which were used in the attack as well. so enemies and threats can come from everywhere and anywhere. be, is therewould an attitude now that a nation cannot afford to not collect all data available, wherever they
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are, and whatever data they are, because they have to defend, and they also have to dissuade enemies, and they also have to guarantee to keep superiority in the world strategic game? >> why don't we start answering those questions. do you need everything? and then we will get the last question. board,he civil liberties i do not think we should subcontract this function. i think it ought to be done by the leadership of the intelligence community, internally. it should be talking about it. they should be setting the tone. not just, whatever the board says. ciber has made a tremendous difference in the intelligence business, because that is where information goes. and i think that most of us who have been in the business would
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missed at worse if we key communication that, had we interpreted it correctly, would have saved the lives of our citizens, then if we had not taken the effort to do it. the information is exploding. we have a nagging suspicion there may be something out there which would save the lives of our fellow citizens, or those in other countries. we are driven by trying to be able to do that, interpreted correctly, and get the information to the right people to save lives. that is the motivation of 99.9% of those in that business. that is what our citizens ought to expect, and they get it. >> i have been given the two- minute warning, so i think this has to be the last. ambassador negroponte and admiral blair, thank you for your service to our nation.
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time for a national security act of 2014? and is it time for us to truly sit down and talk about a national security budget, a true national security budget? and would that help or hinder -- would that have helped or hindered you in your previous jobs as dni? >> i think you might just be running the risk of opening a huge can of worms if you try to come up with new national security act legislation, at least from an intelligence perspective. i would have thought you might advocate new legislation if you felt that the intelligence reform simply was not working. my assessment is that it is working. it is not perfect. it is not ideal. i would not even have advocated
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it myself, eight or 10 years ago. dni took over the community management staff functions of the cia. presented us with that outcome. i think to reopen the debate could be counterproductive. from an intelligence point of for, i would not advocate new legislation at this time. >> it is probably a personal thing, but, looking forward, i think we do need to keep pushing at adjusting to the i negative -- i am inhose negative time, for those of you who are not mathematicians. i do think we need to think in new ways, and implement in ways that will work. i think the ghosts of j edgar hoover and richard nixon have long been exercised, but they
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still have sustainable influence on things we are doing. technology has changed. authorities have changed. no big security problem that faces the united states can be solved by one of the national security agencies we have, acting alone. they are all things everybody has to participate in. you have to have a team. you have to have a mission. if we can get toward that over time, that would be good. >> thank you very much, both of you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> that event, hosted by the aspen institute, was held last month. in a little more than an hour, we will have a live town hall on the nsa surveillance program, and its national influence on civil liberties. we will examine the white house decision to close several embassies based on intercepted intelligence. and the impact of the leak by edward snowden. analysts will join us to discuss the nsa program. we will also seek your comments, facebook comments, calls, and tweets. while congress is in recess for the month of august, we will show book tv in prime time, focusing on book fairs and festivals tonight. a special on african-american history and the 21st century. but then a discussion of the agents." in's secret
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and a new book about whitey bulger. tonight, in an encore presentation of first ladies -- >> the earliest extant letter we october 1762. we call it the miss adorable letter, because that is how john adams opens the letter. it is john, writing to abigail. he says, miss adorable. you to give him as many kisses and as many hours of your company after 9:00 as he shall please to demand. and charge them to my account. i presume i have good right to draw upon you for the kisses, as i have given two or 3 million at least when one has been
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received. in consequence, the town between us is immensely in favor of yours. encore presentation continues tonight, at 9:00 eastern. >> c-span. we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings, and conferences, and offering complete coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago, and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. now, you can watch us in hd. >> now, a discussion on national security and civil liberties. includes former house intelligence committee ranking member jane harman, and the nsa
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general counsel. this is one hour, 10 minutes. >> the title of this panel, as you see, is counterterrorism, national security, and the rule of law. the tension between what the law demands and what the national defense requires is, in essence, what this panel is about. have one ofed to america's premier investigative journalists. in 2010 as nbc news the national investigative correspondent. we all know he covered, among other things, the boston marathon bombing and the newtown shooting massacre. he appears regularly on nbc news. he is also the author of new york times best-selling books " and also "uncovering clinton."
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go ahead. >> thank you. and i want to thank you again for assembling great panels every year. you get newsmakers and future newsmakers to serve on these panels. last year, i served on a panel with paula broadwell. any of ournot expect distinguished panelists to make news like that this year, i think they will all be in the spotlight in some form. to my left, the general counsel of the national security agency, which has been in the hot seat of all the issues that have been front and center since the edward snowden disclosures. before that, he was staff secretary for president obama. my understanding is, that gave him access to everything that desk,o the president's which is pretty ominous, when you think about it.
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i first encountered him when he was a counsel for the 9/11 commission, investigating what happened there. attorneyft, the u.s. for the eastern district of virginia. that has put him at the forefront of investigations on terrorism, and quite a few media leak investigations, leak investigations involving media, a subject we will get to on this panel. he served in the justice department, and was a counsel to then-senator joe biden. johnson was jay general counsel for the defense department until last year. a legal overview of everything the u.s. military and defense department was doing , a lot of which we will discuss here. for the general counsel air force and assistant u.s. attorney, hired in new york by
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rudy giuliani, back in the day. jane harman needs no introduction to anybody here. he is the executive director of the woodrow wilson center. served how many terms in congress? nine terms in congress as ranking member on the house intelligence committee for many years, and then the homeland security committee. is the executive director of the aclu, and has been a consistent voice for civil liberties on all the issues we are going to talk about. let us start right off with the nsa program. i know some of it was covered in the previous panel, but i want to get into, with raj, how it actually works. i am talking about the metadata program, which was probably the biggest disclosure by edward snowden, the fact that millions and millions of records of
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were beingone calls collected/stored. i will let people use the words they want. by the nsa, under a provision of the patriot act. exactly how this program works in practice. ?ho has access to it what can those records be used for? >> thanks for pulling this all together. what i wanted to start out with is that i firmly believe the u.s. government intelligence community, nsa in particular, needs to be as transparent as possible, consistent with our need to protect national security. it is that last piece that makes it so difficult to talk about. i would like to be as informative and helpful in this discussion as possible. the reason i say that is, it is my job as general counsel to
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make sure our activities are lawful. i think legitimacy of nsa activities is as important as the lawfulness of those activities. even on the prior panel, there was a conflation between programs. were two programs that were exposed. is about theam collection of content of communications, e-mails, and phone calls that can only been .argeting that is not what we are talking about. of theet the contents communication of the u.s. person under fisa anywhere in the world requires a showing of probable cause.
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the 215 program is conducted pursuant to section 215 of the patriot act. the director of the fbi to apply to obtain business records that may be relevant to an authorized national security investigation. the fbi uses this provision for lots of different things. the only program used in connection with the fbi is the business record metadata program we are discussing today. what is that program about? i think it would be helpful for everyone to understand the point of the program, and why it evolved. after the 9/11 attacks, one of the major issues exposed was a scene between domestic and foreign intelligence efforts. the 9/11 commission focused on this issue. the u.s. government, over the past decade, has made a number of efforts to address this divide.
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some of them are institutional. there are programs like the telephone metadata program. the idea is help to connect when there is a foreign threat that may have a domestic nexus. how does it work? this program is about the book collection of telephone metadata. what that means is things like numbers dialed, date and time of call, and duration of call. not include any subscriber-identifying information. there are no names identified. there is no locational data orvided, whether gps data location information. there is no content. how it is implemented, pursuant to court order, the data comes to nsa on a daily basis. in aeds to be put
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segregated database. it cannot be mingled with other data at the end of the day. it has strict access and use controls. let me walk through some of those. >> you talked about transparency. the 215 program, because of the provision in the patriot act. you are in congress when they passed the patriot act. , when youderstand voted for and supported the patriot act, that it would be used for the bulk collection of everybody's home records in the united states? >> i understood that we needed to collect records in order to, through all the means we have discussed in prior panels -- in order to find those people in the united states or outside the united states, or linked to people in the united states, who are trying to harm us after 9/11.
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i voted for a program that authorized people, under strict supervision, to figure out the best way to do that. i do not think, as a sitting member of congress, and someone who knows intelligence but is not a trained intelligence analyst, that i am the best person to decide the parameters of the program. congress narrowed some of the initial proposals, and we sunset at this. it has to be renewed every three years. i think this is important. >> i think people thought it would be used for the purpose raj is explaining. >> business records, phone company records -- exactly how it would be implemented, i trusted people to implement it fairly, because those in congress who were on the relative committees played -- certainly i did -- a major role in overseeing what was happening. i left the intelligence
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community at the end of 2006, but headed the homeland committee for another four years. did i oversee every single bit of it? no. do i think that maybe now that there is a much more public debate, congress should narrow some of these provisions? yes. congress did narrow some of these provisions. provision.he library a human going to the library and taking out a book -- who could see that? internets aten libraries. in case anybody missed it, a lot of the way communication works between bad guys and bad guys is through the internet. sites, maybe, ought to be subject to the provisions of section 215. once it was narrowed to clarify that grandma was exempted,
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congress did that, in response to public outcry. people have known about this program. it was revealed in the new york times in 2005. george bush partially declassified it. i learned to my extreme dismaying in the first 3.5 years presidentogram, the had used his article to the program,o run rather than the provisions of fica, which congress enacted in 1978, the foreign intelligence surveillance act was passed in 1978 in response to the abuses of the nixon administration and the recommendation of the church commission. astead of a careful system of fisa court, an intelligence committee on the hill was set up then to monitor these applications. it worked very well in my view
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through 2000 -- three 2001. congress after that pulled it back. strongly that may the amount of metadata is excessive. i am sure my buddy thinks this. that ought to be debated. maybe the program should be narrowed. there has been robust oversight over the years. >> i want to be clear on this. who can accesses data and for what purposes? >> i think it was a letter that went to the hill yesterday. iners were sent to congress 2009. speak to any individual
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member of congress that is currently now with the knowledge of the program. in terms of access, access is strictly controlled. create the data, one has to have reasonable suspicion that there is a type to a specific terrorist group that is identified in the court order. group. ifterrorist there is a foreign espionage isup and i think my target about to leap united states, i need to check out this phone number to see if he is in communication with a co- conspirator, are you going given that information? >> it is illegal. >> how does he get to the information? >> ask again? [laughter] friends, but not that close. >> how would you get that information.
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>> let me back up from the specifics for a minute and quickly get to that. in any investigation, the fbi and the intelligence community are working seamlessly in a way that did not happen before 9/11. when j was the general counsel, there were weeks when we had many occasions where we had to talk. we work closely with the with various command forces. there are conversations occurring across the law enforcement communities in ways which are helpful in terms of permissible information sharing and dot-connecting. to your specific question, if
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there was an operational terrorist within the united states, i would hope that we would arty have their number. >> not a terrorist, i said a spy. >> there certainly have been examples where there were individuals in this country. we prosecuted a couple in my office. -- one was an unregistered agent. those individuals came to our attention and investigations and sued. we were able to up tainted information. >> i'm asking a specific question about how you get records and phone numbers, ongoing investigations that have real-time consequences. be a drug cartel that is importing guns on the street and reused in five murders in the
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last several months. you need this information right away and you want to know who is making phone calls. how do you get the information? you can get it, can't you? >> sure. informant,ena, an any number of ways. are our investigations ability to identify where an alleged that guy lives or their phone number or their e-mail address. our ability to find it is not all that difficult. >> you can get it pretty quickly. for an ongoing investigation, somebody's about to leave the country, you need that phone number in order to get a search warrant, you need that pretty quickly, don't you? >> it would depend on the case. described, your
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example, i think, contemplates a known individual who has been of the lawcrutiny enforcement or other agencies. micro level, it is not a difficult thing in our investigation. sinceuess the question is he can get the information he needs pretty quickly, for a lot of serious investigations that have operational components, why can't we use the same method for the terrorism investigation that you are collecting this for? >> i think the bigger question is why can't the data state with the providers? >> this is what happens. >> using a hypothetical example i think would be helpful. after the 9/11 attacks, we
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realize that one of the operatives had been living in the u.s. for some time. we learned he had been receiving calls from a known al qaeda safe house in yemen. i think that is a good example. bad numbert is a with reasonable suspicion and ties to a terrorist organization. figure outto do where that number may be thatcted, the contents of would need to go to multiple .roviders to ask of them they would have to do a search against their records.
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they will bring the data back, put it together in short order. the third point i would make is to date there is no legal obligation for any of these companies to hold onto the data. they do it for their own commercial purposes. tomorrow we could turn around and any of these companies could decide that they do not want to hold onto these records. situatione facing a where we would not have the data readily available. these are the things i would have to think through. >> what i was getting at is that you have been saying. there ought to be specific targeted risk -- requests. they said that would create all sorts of problems. does he have a point?
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>> no. i should say that i was last year debating and now i am debating friends who serve in the obama administration. so much has changed and so much has not changed. the program, whether it is legitimate or not, the answer is illegitimate and illegal in our mind. let's break it down. is important to read the -- the knowledge or understanding of the word relevant when you are collecting every single phone call, metadata, we will get into that.
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how is that limited to relevance when you say we have all the phone numbers that are made to and from. it had me think that the training and relevance -- metadata. metadata is not content. metadata can give a lot of content. it sells how often i call my mother. call mylls how often i mother. who i call on the government whose private cell phones i happen to have who i do not call at the office because we cannot , buta log of my phone call i have a private cell phone. we want keep that somewhat between us. compiled in complete information can give you a very
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full picture of what my day is like. sectionso talk about 702. phone calls from overseas and foreigners that do not have the .ame kind of standard i have called them. i have direct phone numbers. mr. a lock keys of father who was killed by the american government by drones, including his 16-year-old son.
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i have to do have the phone number of his father in yemen. numbers for how his wife and brother-in-law in iraq -- we represented him in the 9/11 commission. we have contact with his wife and his brother-in-law and the man who was held and tortured. these are all individuals who i have their phone numbers. they're all cases i have been involved with. me.ll them, they call as an american citizen, i have a right and an expectation that my communication for which i'm doing my work to defend their right are not to be intercepted under any program. if you are to tell me that my communication had not been caught up in the surveillance program and that none of these programs -- phone numbers i made are not part of your database, i
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wouldn't believe you because i actually think these are the types of people you are targeting. i have a legitimate right to interact with these individuals. i have a right and privacy to my two medications. communicate anthony with his clients without you collecting the records? >> i would say anthony absolutely can to make it with his clients. he has a right to do that. his clients have a right to do that. i disagree with anthony to say the program is even legal. in his opinion, the program is a legal. of all threen branches of government, the program is not illegal. peoples representatives in congress, the court, the pfizer
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court, and the executive branch all believe this program is illegal. this is important to put in perspective to things. the fact that a phone call is made to some number that is known to the telephone company and lots of other people, there is no expectation in the duration of that call it self. clearly, there is an expectation of privacy for which you need a warrant. that thety is surveillance program is probably the most regulated national security program we have. the two programs that have been declassified are regulated by .he executive branch
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congressional oversight has been aware how the executive branch has interpreted section 215 and the judicial branch because they have approved it. the judicialf branch has been designated by congress to hear these applications has approved of the manner in which this program is being implemented through there is the equilibrium. our national political leadership decides they want to change the equilibrium, that is their prerogative and responsibility. >> i want to move the discussion along. i have two more quick questions on this subject. number one, the verizon order that was disclosed that kicked off this whole controversy is due to expire tomorrow. is the nsa seeking a renewal. >> i have nothing to say today about that?
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about that. >> what you have something to say tomorrow? >> i will. >> will it be modified? [laughter] >> i cannot say anymore at the moment. where can i say something in defense of anthony? i want him to continue to love me. be ank there should expectation of protection, of lawyer and client communications. that has always been the tradition. it is generally respected. case was a supreme court referenced this morning. no constitutionally protected expectation that phone numbers called will not be disclosed. that is the basis on which we should begin to talk about this. but coming back to congress, whatever is narrow
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the standard to go before the fisa court to get an individualized warrant. i'm sure it will be revisited. required that of the court -- that the case deal with specific facts creating a reasonable suspicion that a person is of a foreign power before the records could be seized and monitored. that is a tighter standard. i think congress will be looking at, in some near lifetime, tightening the standard. i think we need a national debate about this. we are having one right now. the case i was referencing this morning and just now, 1979,
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how many years has it been? right? it is a primitive register. it would track only beings dialed. it is vastly different than what we saw in 1979. that is the purpose of the lawsuit. i know you love jane, but you have to forgive me. the fisa court, come on. 12 judges. 11 of them republicans. right? representing the privacy of the people. it is only the government who is represented in the pfizer court. 35 years, three opinions
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published. ofis there any form surveillance the nsa can conduct a you would approve of. >> sure. absolutely. it has to be focused on the subject of the surveillance. probable cause. >> who would approve it? doesn't have to be in secret? >> a revamp of the pfizer court, totally fine. even the chief justice says we need an adversarial process. there is no adversarial process. when the the adversary government goes in and says, we have a phone number being called by an al qaeda operative, we need to see who that person is right away. who is the adversary who goes before the court to argue? >> -- whose job it is to preserve and present the privacy of the individual.
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last question for now on this subject. we can debate whether privacy rights are mated data are covered or not -- metadata are covered or not. -- the public expects officials will tell them the truth. can give me a yes or no answer to the question, and does the nsa collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans and he answered, no, sir. did anybody from the nsa come into your office and say, we have a problem here? a director has just misled the congress and the public about what we are doing? >> at the quick and make a couple points. -- herst one is the fact
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is the director of national intelligence. i think -- and it is available a letterblic record, was sent explaining what happened in that moment. what i would say, and i don't say when a would long time honorable servants make a mistake, sometimes it is a mistake. however, the premise of your question is true. the public expects honest answers. >> i would just add, i have the highest regard for jim clapper. i wish we could roll back the videotape and his answer had been, i cannot answer that question in a public setting. if we moved into a classified setting, i will answered completely.
6:22 pm's move there are other subjects. you have been very involved in leak investigations. this justice department has brought more leak prosecutions than any other in american history and the record shows very little to show for it at this moment. one success. last week when the justice department issued his new guidelines for the press and how it will handle investigations and saying that a few of the tactics and techniques that justice has used, the secret subpoena of the phone records, the use of a search warrant to get private e-mails from a reporter under the pretext that violation of the espionage act will not be used
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anymore. paragraph, they say cases involving the unauthorized disclosure of information are inherently difficult to investigate and prosecute. careful use of mayviduals and proof that result in further harmful disclosures. it sounds like a recognition that much of what this justice department has been doing, including your office, has been misplaced. i didn'trprisingly, quite read it that way, but i am happy to answer those questions. for just a back second. it is true my office has been involved in several leak investigations and prosecutions. the context for that from those of you from the west coast who
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do not have to travel east of the nation's capital, the part of forging a that my district to the largest footprint of the u.s. government in the country. we are home to the pentagon, the cia, the intelligence community, we have the world's largest naval base. we have hundreds of government installations scattered throughout our district. we have thousands of acres of federal land that partially means we have a bit of a national security bull's-eye on our back. it also means that when there theissues involving unauthorized disclosure of national defense and information which i will talk about in a second is a much broader group of classified information that my district is just sort of the obvious place to bring the investigation. just a bit of context.
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that is why we are frequently involved in these cases. think context in terms of numbers is helpful. the numbers are not as large as some of the numbers thrown out in terms of the collection system. in the average year, the justice department brings between the the and 75,000 investigations. years, the five justice department has conservatively opened 250, 300 50,000 investigations. against that backdrop, there have been a half dozen or so investigations into allegations of the unauthorized disclosure of the national defense information. i think it is -- beyond this small but
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important aspect of enforcing the law. a last data point before getting to my specific question. much has been written and talked about about the overclassification since 9/11. think there is really no and all between people sides and viewpoints that the government classifies too much information. i think the president has called for lower amounts of classification. term as a we use that term of art. it is a common miss representation that -- that is not the case. there is lots of information that is classified as may be sensitive that you read about in .he paper every day
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it may be an annoyance to government officials. it may cause some level of alarm and concern by various just insurance, but it doesn't mean it's a violation of federal law. in order to bring a criminal case, it is a fairly high threshold. you need to show this is information that is critical to the national defense, the release of which could benefit a foreign government or hurt the united states. >> i think you have gone overboard. >> i don't believe we have. general andattorney others have talked about the reason for the increase in the leak investigation.
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i think the reasons that have been given art coupled. the cia and others, it has increased in recent years. that is a reflection of a couple of things. people havemore access to classified information today than they did before 9/11. number two, this has been discussed on the hill and i am not tech savvy enough to use technical terms here, but essentially internal i.t. easier make it somewhat to be able to determine the source of a particular leak. that is increasingly true today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. cases, youf those have sought to compel the new
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york times. he has said under no circumstances will he testify and he will go to jail if he has to. it does seem to be somewhat at a various with the comments last week. preparedevail, are you to put a new york times reporter in jail for refusing to testify? >> {a a couple of things about that. first of all, the administration, including the attorney general, strongly supports and has for several years a shield bill that has been pending. >> you have argued that before. >> if you will allow me, my understanding of the reporter's privilege -- shield bill, i am
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told was free to boost yesterday and a bipartisan bill has been introduced in the senate which we get to in a second. my understanding of the bill and i have not read it carefully -- >> i'm not asking about the bill . i am asking about the case. >> right. i think i heard, is there an inconsistency if you support the media shield and that there is not an absolute right for any person, reporter or non-reporter to not provide evidence of a crime? my understanding is that bill sets up a test where a federal the type of on case, the criminal case, would make certain balancing tests. the bill does not say a reporter has no obligation to ever go
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into court and testify. the media ranks you mentioned are really important. if they are significant and certainly will change the way we extent.ess to some those were a reflection of the attorney general that often times in washington and elsewhere, policy debates are as much about means as ends. and'simes they are shared -- shared ends. to roll up his sleeves and here, what is it giving you heartburn?
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what are the means we have used shouldcally that perhaps be revised? there are a couple of them which are significant. the response seems to have been more positive to these new ways. ine are two real big changes terms of how we will do business. if the government -- i'm a backup. it has always been the case that seeking records or testimony resortreporter is a last . if i can get the information through another source, i am not allowed to ask a reporter a question or ask them to testify in the grand jury. there is an exhaustion requirement which has been strengthened.
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the attorney general himself or herself needs to now sign off. but critically, the department now, if we wish to issue a abpoena for a tape of demonstration outside of an embassy, that is an unusual situation. >> can i bring you back? do you really want to win this case and be faced with whether not you should put the reporter in jail? >> the case is pending. >> and if you win? >> it is a hypothetical. >> do you want to win? >> i need to see what will happen. >> here are the two big changes. if we are going to subpoena a reporter, we need to give advance notice to that reporter. is to the reporter directly, obviously you would have seen the subpoena. but if you're going to a third arctic, you have to tell the
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reporter and the reporter has the ability to object. two, and i think this is in reference to the search warrant case. the new regulation says that unless a reporter is the target of the investigation, there will not be a search warrant sought or e-mail or phone records. the regulations make it very clear that reporters are not going to be prosecuted ever for going about their important business of reporting on the news. >> can we each speak for a second? >> very quickly. anthony will rebut what i'm about to say and focus on a lot of this for 17 years and i still
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focus on it. i think the press is by and large very responsible. i participated in a few phone calls to heads of offices, saying, please do not public information. let's understand what harmful means. methods, when revealed, can result in people dying. they can also resort and our capability going or word against the iraniant's say nuclear program, being compromised. certainly not ok with me to have published information. i am extremely worried about some of the snowden stuff that is not come out yet which may show sources we have in our current efforts to keep america safe. understand it. that does not mean a reporter
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should go to jail, but the context is there is a responsible press by and large. i certainly respect that. we have to find a better way to stop leaks of material that compromise our sources and methods. >> i want to move onto another subject that is very take and important. that is drone strikes and the future of our war on terror. it has all been predicated on the authorization to use military force after 9/11 which identified our enemy as al qaeda. major speech in oxford last year looking toward the future. thei am hung up still on phrase, associated forces.
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who are the associated forces of al qaeda who are our enemy right now? well, you are correct that for the last four years while i was in office, the interpretation that we adopted referredecutive branch to al qaeda, the taliban, and the associated forces. that was an interpretation of the executive ranch that was endorsed by the courts specifically to include the concept of the force. it was also an interpretation that the congress last year in section 1021 embraced. some in congress who believed we should not just rely on the lawyers interpretation. let's codify it expressly, which
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they did in section 1021 which engendered some litigation. the injunction in that case. when i was in office, i want to when we conducted military operations pursuant to that authority in places outside of iraq and afghanistan, like yemen and the horn of at for care, every strike was briefed to congress after the strike. talk regularly to the lawyers on the armed services committee about how we were construing that authority so that they understood how it was being applied. the time i was in office, that authority generally worked , osama binqaeda laden being the most prominent example. other members of core al qaeda.
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and al qaeda-affiliated elements . >> there were three associated when you're in office. that ie were the three had the occasion to evaluate most often. there were other instances when i would conduct a legal evaluation where we did not go forward with a specific operation, but those are the three most prominent examples that we regularly briefed to congress. you referred to my oxford speech. at an inflection point as one journalist put it where we should no longer consider ourselves in a traditional armed conflict against al qaeda and affiliated groups. i think benghazi is a prominent example of what i am talking about. you cannot label the benghazi attacked as something conducted
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by al qaeda and associated forces. it was more of a mixed bag. in this. eriod, i think we need to evaluate in congress what new authorities we might need and we're not just talking about drone strikes. we're talking about the ability to conduct interrogations and other types of things that domestic law enforcement, that the intelligence community should have to go forward with to the future. >> can i add something to this? i just want to give a shout out to jay. while he was in government and a sense, talking about this, another example of somebody who has been fearless. at the wilson center last week, we had a national conversation. whether it be amended or ended. a republican from tennessee, the
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said, congress is being irresponsible. which i voted for, was never anticipated to be in effect 12 years later and be the basis for all of our tactics against the bad guys forever endeavor. congress should have and if it isn't being having congress, the larger society should have it. what is our basis for our going forward view on who is attacking and what tactics are appropriate? what is the narrative? let's not forget that. the united states stand for? i doubt anyone really disagrees with that. i think it is just time to get on with it. i want to applaud jay. wrote itmer colleague
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-- wrote an excellent book, kill or capture. learning about afterwards, if i was catholic i would have to go to confession. what did you feel guilty about? i or any other national security official had to sign off on something that leads to lethal force, that should leave you with a heavy heart. period. irrespective of who the objective is. i want to talk about the op-ed written today. i read it. is that in a congressionally authorized conflict, on occasion people who are not targeted by the strike
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are killed. the good news to the extent that there is any is with our modern technology, we are more precise. collateral damage is minimized. our government in may, because a number of officials, including the president, believes that if the u.s. government takes a life of a u.s. citizen, the government should acknowledge that. acknowledged that the u.s. forrnment was responsible his son and others. the way the attorney general put it, they were not specifically targeted. thatoint i want to make is of any responsible official our government involved in counterterrorism, you read an op-ed like that and you get a pit in your stomach and read it with a heavy heart. if you don't, you should not be involved in making these
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decisions. >> i will let you answer, but there is limited time from -- for questions from the audience. if anyone wants to pose one, now is the time to do so. i have one right over here. >> from foreign affairs magazine , the new york times has likened to an almostt parallel supreme court in that it is issuing decisions and constitutional interpretations that will shape intelligence practices in the future. it you you agree with that characterization? should the fisa court be playing that role? or should the supreme court be taking on some of those cases? is operatingourt in 19gress established
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78. i think everyone knows how it operates. these are federal, article three judges. there is a review that has ruled rarely, but it has. i think that narrative generally sets out there. few applications are rejected and there is a handful of people in this room who have practiced. that is an way accurate representation. i think the challenge to the government is how do we improve public confidence in a process that is working as intended, working pretty well. there is a full-time staff that is very competent. i think that is something that is out of their. a couple of points. one, if somebody were to make critical side, it is rare a title iii is rejected as well. that is just the nature of the
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business. recent weeks, we started to open up a little bit more to discuss how the process works. there is something many of you have probably heard of called a recopy. draft application. i could be days, weeks, months before it is submitted. the government takes that into account. final submission might not be made, and even when it is made, it accounts for what the judges would have put in originally. is a legitimate debate as to whether reform should be made. i would just like to make that point. >> a question right here.
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>> before that, let's let anthony chime in. >> there is a vigorous process. let's make it a real vigorous. let's have an adversarial process in our legal system. if you think it is tough to practice before now, i would love to be opposite you. i think that's the way our courts normally work. numbersthe fact is the have not been revealed. i think it is fascinating all of you cosponsors of this institute for him are now asking congress and the court to release more data on that information. finally understood that your self interest is corporation aligned with your consumers privacy interest. but it late to the party is good that you got there. let me fall off of the limb.
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i have been watching this whole debate about edward snowden. i think he did this country a service. i have not said that publicly until this point. i think he did his country a service by starting a debate that was anemic and left to government officials were people did not understand fully what was happening. i think regardless of where you come out on it, we have a debate. we have six lawsuits that have been filed on the nsa program. we have congress holding hearings yesterday, saying, wait a minute, that is not the law but i signed. i find it rather troublesome when i find the white house press secretary goes to such great lengths to say that he is not a human rights activists and he is not a whistleblower. who made him king of the human rights committee? >> i cannot let this stand.
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newman mcbride who is criminally charged -- >> i think it is a bad message for us to send to people who decide to take the law into their own hands, they are doing a public disservice. >> the system does not work. we have sued seven times to get this before a proper court. we were kicked out. they said it was a cascade of speculation when our client said that we think our data was collected by the government. since we had no proof we had no standing. if it had not been for lack of trying -- it was not for a lack of trying. the only way we can get before because mr.s snowden leads the fact that we are clients of the verizon business mentor. he fits my standard progress and our democracy, regardless of if you broke the law, regardless of
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that he should be held in the fourth circuit, i think our country is better as a result. >> our country needs a debate, but i do not think -- >> that is -- >> this is completely different. a kid who had nothing to do with formulating the policy. he is totally self-centered and narcissistic. it is not just the information .bout these programs it is a whole bunch of other stuff which compromises ongoing investigations. publicy needs to seek asylum from other countries because he would be persecuted here, it's total nonsense. a lot of americans support what he did. he should come back and face a fair trial. >> private manning street before he was prosecuted by our government was torture. now, i want to say that i may not agree.
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we have not decided if he -- if we will defend mr. snowden. we had nothing to do with his application. that he can go find elsewhere. i will say that i am personally grateful that we are having a debate we should've had long ago . i have been in my job 13 years. we have tried to have this debate all throughout. we have not had the hearings in congress. we have not had the lawsuits that have been filed. alliesr had our european who now raise questions about effortsthe government's were with our allies. for whatever it's worth, i think we are better off today, and now, knowing about the nsa program than we were back in march of this year. >> do you want to weigh in?
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just to say that the case anthony mentioned is an ongoing case. that they, just to say case anthony mentioned is an ongoing case. the justice department does not pursue whistleblowers. been used. of my district prosecuted a former cia official last year who had signed nine nondisclosure agreements. he was convicted and keep pled guilty. he out to the name of a covert agent and a highly classified program. he talked to people in the intelligence community, many of whom are sitting here. i am always told that the most damaging leaks are outing covert agents. the case that we prosecuted involved both.
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he never claimed he was a whistleblower. that was a self-serving thing that was claimed. sentenced, the judge who was the judge in the other case said to him, you are not a whistleblower. >> we have a question or in the outing to us had the microphone. >> i love a good debate. in q2 the panelists. i am with human rights first. the team seems to be about information. i want to ask you about a slightly different topic which is torture. the intelligence community did a study of torture after 9/11. searched through 3 million documents or 25,000 footnotes. those that were adopted have not yet been voted for declassification.
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isn't this something the american people deserve to know? study fora similar the military's role. that has been made public. you want to take a crack at that? >> i think the answer is yes. i think the report that was done by the senate armed services committee is a very valuable report. i personally had a number of takeaways from it. legal reviewshe that were done to authorize a particular interrogation were not done in a proper way. i think the senior lawyer of the department of defense should have been more personally involved in conducting those reviews. i think that is an important study.
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>> any other questions here on this side? and then we will continue. >> i was going to ask gene, how do we ensure a robust debate on public policy issues that involve intelligence operations when they are classified within certain members of congress? to the oversight committees cannot share? >> to tradition has always been that members of the intelligence committees that she deducted on there unless you are a leader. sources and methods have to be protected. i often joke that congress does not leap to kiss you do not have any information. but actually,
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some members of congress do and i was one of those members. should congress nonetheless even with a higher level of information shared only with the intelligence committee conduct robust debates? you bet. capable of doing this. are they going to do this in the near term? i doubt it. that is what bob was saying. it is a huge abdication of responsibility. group. take a bipartisan those folks seem to get along with each other. there should be a debate. somebody suggested maybe we need a national security act of 2014. most of it was passed in 19 47. no business on the planet could operate within 1947 business model. .e change part of it
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it wasn't perfect. , so we had to make some compromises. least it made a modern horizontal structure. congress should revisit this issue and the responsible. maybe out here in washington and other places like the wilson center, we ought to start that debate. anthony romero is part of that debate. we have had lots of programs where he has participated. we need the point of view of the press and the folks who have been in and are in our intelligence community, we need to public perception. the last point is that security and liberty are not a zero sum game. united one -- more of one and less of the other. they are a positive sum game or a negative sum game.
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that would be a catastrophe. >> i think when it comes to leaks, there really is a big picture point that has to be made. a 9/11 or fort hood or boston marathon and everybody in washington ask, what happened? what failed, how can we do better? --y are not conducting connecting the dots enough. we have to do a better job. and then you get a manning or a snowden and people say, what happened? how can we do better? you connected to many dots. the pendulum swings back the other way. the reality is, and a lot of people don't want to hear this, if they are somebody determined to commit a criminal act, if there was a summer intern in my office, determined to get into and snatched from my
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desktop a top-secret document and give it away, you'll probably be able to figure out a way to do that and to break through all the barriers that .xist we don't necessarily need to think about changing national security policy in reaction to one criminal event. they will have to avoid criminal prosecution. on that point, apparently we are out of time. i want to thank our panelists for a great discussion. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> when it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your phone calls. that is not what this program is about. what thedicated, intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers, durations of calls. they are not looking at people's names and they're not looking at content. arehese programs controversial. we understand that. they are sensitive. they are also important.
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they allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter that i referred to. if we did not have these programs, we would not be able to listen in on the bad guys. >> there is a balance between security and liberty. there is a time to re-examine that. it is appropriate to do that now. >> we are not going to have a perfect system unless you have people under constant lock down and constantly being monitored. and even then, you would have a police state and have a much more dangerous society. many have said they do not think this program is affect it. as to whether american's privacy is being violated, ask constituents. that theirell you privacy is being violated. >> there is a more inconvenience to americans by taking out your
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shoes at an airport then by this program which is pointed to finding people who have a real threat to the united states. some of the recent voices commenting on the revelation of the nsa surveillance programs made known in the last couple of months. townhall,span congress is on recess for the next five weeks. go on recess at c- span. our job is to cover the house and the senate and bring you the forums where public policy, politics, and issues are discussed. that is what we have planned for the next five weeks. we will look at issues like the nsa surveillance program. we will hear from you and journalists who cover the story.
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the evening and welcome to conversation. there are a couple of ways to participate. you can do that by phone, and the numbers are on the screen. we have also seen tweets. we have posted a particular question on facebook. program?pport the nsa let's check a couple of those responses as we wait for some of your phone calls to come in. tom says -- i do not support the nsa. the fourth amendment means something to me. brian says -- who surveilled the survey letters? -- surveillers? and that says -- it is a violation of the fourth
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amendment. it does not matter what administration it is under. i'm not convinced that our dad is not being stored somewhere, so that as some point e-mails will be read and calls look at. some of the action so far at some of the conversation we have been showing you from the aspen security forum, the former -- he commented on the necessity for balancing security and freedom. here is a little bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> at turns out we can gather a lot more than we can turn into intelligence. we do have to continue to get this information into analysts. we have to give the machines that will help them deal with the enormous volumes. we need good people who can go
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beyond what the machines can do. said, it is possible to -- for the intelligence community to do everything perfectly come and get for something like that to happen in measuresd states, the the country would have to take to prevent those sorts of things from happening would go far beyond the bounds of intercity if you want a government into our lives. we set this boundary on how much government can have to make them safe and how private.want to keep that is something we have to work on and debate.
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where it is now, we can stop some things and not other things. we do not want to go further in terms of gathering more data on americans. what we do now is under law. >> the former director of national intelligence, dennis blair, on the nsa surveillance program. it was revealed by edward snowden, a former contractor for the national security administration. those revelations were made known in the spring of this year. this c-span town hall we are taking your thoughts on the nsa program. there will talk to jonathan in a moment to has written about it for pro-publica. you can participate on facebook and twitter.
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this is real midwest liberty who treats -- that man convincing people that spying on you is good, is the same and the claimed he could assassinate americans. isther says -- what the nsa to be against the constitution. end of debate. there is an article written in .he national journal they point out some of the debate ahead in both the house and the senate. future -- a the nsa tale of two committees. the house and senate, the judiciary and intelligence committees will fight over the survival of surveillance. they will determine whether america's most prominent dissident will achieve his stated goal of dismantling the
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national securities architecture of oppression, as he called it. from thatressure nation's most powerful tech companies. battle lines are being formed between the judiciary and intelligence communities in both the house and senate. firebrand defenders are seeking to shut down or fundamentally overhaul surveillance. intelligence committee members who tend to stand behind the nsa are trying to preserve as much as they can of what they consider an essential program. from the national journal last week. let's go to calls. democrat line. what do you think? do you support the nsa program? caller: i do not. i voted for obama. i amazed of all of the laws that are being passed that are constitutionally questionable. i am wondering why from a media
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-- ective it seems like one of the -- it should be a debate. where is the limit? it is becoming watered down. state.becoming a police it does not seem like anyone is doing anything about it. republicans are the tea party -- le who where does it stop? you are calling on our democrat line. we had a little bit of conversation before about how to divide the lions. when you look at the defense bill a few weeks back, there
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were opposition on both sides of the aisle for that amendment. where do you see this as a political issue? is it democratic or republican? you havet looks like some republicans who are in support of it and some democrats that are in support of it. i am with rand paul on this one. i am questioning why i am a democrat? i lean more with the republicans. i appreciate the house and having tea party representatives there who are standing their ground on some of these critical issues. i hope the tea party brings this one to the forefront. that this is spiraling out of control. an issue that would sway you to rand paul? if you ran for president?
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is this the sort of issue that would have you go for a candidate outside of your party? caller: definitely. i would do it today if he were running. >> thank you for your call. idaho. independent line. good evening. caller: hello. i have a guess as to what the nsa is doing and what my phone service is doing. as far as taping my information and giving it to the nsa collected store, i feel like just because they have a uniform on is silly. perfect, and man cannot create a perfect law. people always have these
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who most the time are criminals with badges that the law protects. edward snowden was basically on the side of the people. >> thank you for your call. portland, democrat line. caller: good evening. i agree with her completely. i think that snowden is a whistleblower. he is important. democrat.low dog for the first time, i am very disturbed. i do not want a secret government within my government. for the first time, i am questioning this administration. i feel discouraged and conflicted. since iot felt this way was a student for kennedy. thank you. >> thank you. you are seeing video from president obama earlier in phoenix talking about a new
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program he is introducing. we will see that later in our schedule. of president will be a guest jay leno on "the tonight show." there was a press release where obama takes a seat on jay's cou whileight twentysomethings take a seat on their parents couch and they talk about unemployment. massachusetts, independent line. caller: good evening. thank you for the opportunity to talk. , i do not have a clear understanding of why the federal police people and the federal did not share a lot of information with the local po lice leading up to what happened with us. that really bothered me. iowa stop the purpose was that we are all on the same team and working in the -- i always thought the purpose was that we are all on the same team and working together.
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how much of this is politically jif and in terms of how information is shared -- politically driven and in terms of how much information is shared? >> in the case of the boston bombings, do you think that more nsa surveillance might have discovered this? caller: my understanding is that the russian people shared a lot of information with the american people, but it did not get to the people in boston. you spend all of this money and build an agency and homeland security and so on, but somehow that is not getting through to doing the job. reasoning is that the the job is not getting done is because it is a cultural issue. do you know what i mean? >> let's hear from ohio.
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independent line. go ahead. caller: thank you for the opportunity. i am deeply suspicious of metadata mining. i want security and liberty. i do have a problem with them -- how many law- enforcement agencies we have in this country? how manynyone know law-enforcement agencies we have in this country? it is out of control. nevada. republican line. what do you think of the nsa surveillance programs? do you support them? i'd appreciate the
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opportunity to make a comment. law-ld like to thank enforcement for the efforts, but recognize the efforts must be done at constitutional means. peakon 213 sneak and searches allows the government access to american homes and private property without being properly served a search warrant as required by the fourth amendment. i have been unable to get be conciliation as far as you can reconcile sneak and peek searches with the fourth amendment. >> where did you begin? caller: i began my efforts in the spring of 2004. i contacted presidents, senators, congressmen, ivy league confessors am a retired attorneys, and many others. correspondence
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why it is a justified law. i heard it is considered legal by the three pillars of government, but it doesn't reconcile with the constitution, which takes precedence. >> thank you for your call. -- c- doing the see sound span town halls throughout august and early september with congress out. we are checking out some tweets. they are doing their own town halls. he was bill johnson of ohio. each week about what he is up to. he got to speak to hard-working coal miners at the century mine near bealsville. he patched -- attached a photo of that. there is news about a retirement on capitol hill. there is a headline from a louisiana newspaper. -- for presenter won't run for be election --
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representative alexander won't meeting might decide fate of visit.utin secretary of state john kerry and defense secretary will meet with their counterparts on friday in washington to talk about a number of issues. they say at the top of the list are difficult questions that are sure to be the status of the meeting between mr. obama and mr. putin, which has been in doubt for weeks because of issues that include russia's refusal to return edward snowden united states to face charges of leaking national security secrets. that is a reporter from the new york times. a reporter from the washington post pokes fun. there is an editorial cartoon. putin is saying to edward snowden, here is a whistle you can blow whenever you see a gay
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person. there are stricter laws against homosexual people in russia. jonathan has written extensively about the issue of nsa surveillance for pro-publica. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. you might have been listening in. we have had a couple of questions about the extent of the law enforcement in terms of surveillance. let's start with the nsa. how widespread does the revelation show their surveillance programs are of u.s. citizens? >> i think it was a shock to everyone about what we learned from snowden's revelation. the nsa is collecting information on potentially every american. it is from telephone metadata. that is pretty much every call
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you have made. they store that data for five years. >> what happens to it after that? >> well, we do not really know. they say they can only store it for five years, so in theory, it has to be destroyed after that. another program we are learning about collected e-mail metadata. so they are doing e-mail, too. they say that ended in 2011. >> walk us through the metadata. what exactly is that? why is it important in this data collection program? >> when you are investigating terrorism, what you are looking for is not just individual people, but networks. if you found one person, you're interested and who else is working with them? you want to look at who they communicate with.
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this information of who talks to who can reveal more about you and what you are actually saying. -- you can you call see who someone is close to and ,hat their relationship is people who they are talking to that you would not expect them r unusual patterns of calling. it is the connections between people that the nsa is interested in. it can be more revealing than what you are saying. >> is there any way to judge how much more the government would know through these phone records and metadata? consumers leave trails in our business online and habits online. >> honestly i think in private
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hands such as google and amazon, , they keep you order track of web searches, that is probably more information than what the nsa. companies, at least some of them have been -- we do not know of any false records. one of the things is that google might know everything about you, but it would not knock at your door. jonathan stray is a freelance journalist. he joins us from the columbian journalism school in new york. phone here to take your calls and comments as well.
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thank you for joining the conversation. california. caller: hello. >> go ahead. caller: hi. my name is karen. thank you for hearing me. that many to know realize that law enforcement and investigators are only human. they can make mistakes. i was investigated. this person do criminal activity in regards to me. it sounds like, who else could i write to? the problem is that they are undercover. how do you know? if you have some people who have the unusual ability to know things, and i do come and i figured out i have been investigated.
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haveunds bizarre, but i proof. stole. he did very bad things. i'm not surprised. we have an fbi agent who did bad things. they are only human. they will do wrong things themselves. theing has changed since 1970's. they are still doing everything they did on. and thereese things is no oversight. >> we appreciate your comment. jonathan stray, she introduced a human element into it. how could that be a problem with this data getting out? >> that is exactly the problem. watch every person in the country is a power that is time
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president did. no nation has ever had this until the last 10 years. many feel that the oversight that exist is inefficient. that means only the government can make the case. gnosis and or anyone else gets to argue the other side of the issue. else gets to argue the other side of the issue. ultimately, we have no way of knowing what is actually happening. caller was from california. i want to play you a comment or a former california representative.
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a former intelligence committee chair. dashed here is what she had to say at the aspen forum. [video clip] in order to find those people here in the united states are -- i voted for a provision to authorize people under strict supervision to figure out the best way to do that. i'm not a trained intelligence analyst. it, we neverfor wee the initial proposals -- voted on the initial proposals. that she voted for at the same program today? or has it changed?
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>> several groups were warning about possible abuses and different interpretations of these laws. so, i think it is hard to argue that this is not the program that congress intended. what we are seeing now is that it is certainly not the program that the public thought it was. many people are shocked. it indicates there was some mismatch between what americans thought was happening and what is actually happening. tweetre is a treat -- -- we
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-- who is going to keep us safe? if not nsa, who? surely not edward snowden. he ran away. i monetary -- i support monitoring of phones and e-mails and so forth. as long as the data gathered is not used against anybody without future or further legal warrants being issued. our government has had the authority to monitor our communications in a wide variety of cases all the way back to the 1950's. if you ever had a relative call you from a military installation, it has been recorded. if it wasot care christmas. they recorded that call. if you ever got a call from a family member at ship on see --
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sea, they recorded it. it is not something new. i realized the government like can get out of control and can go overboard. i have no problem with congressional oversight. that is important. checking data is going overboard -- i look at it from the standpoint as we have phone books. they have our names in them and addresses and phone numbers. we have a reverse directory. you can look up a phone number and get the name and address of the person. this is in electronic copy of
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or computermbers addresses. i do not have a problem with recording that and retaining that. stray.than >> you are right. the government has long monitored communications of many different types. if i'm suspicious of a particular person, i can have you monitored. that is something else. this is mass surveillance. this is looking into everyone's communications without probable cause. is allowed to track the toormation and pass it on that are law-enforcement. supposed to look at
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communications of americans. evidence of as [indiscernible] we do not know how often that might be happening. it is very disturbing. communications can be used to build a case. i think that is new and different and very scary. >> a question on twitter from ed datath the ability of fake could that valley of collected data decrease? value of collected data
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decrease? have fakeld try to data, but it is hard. they tried to combine data from a lot of different locations. they know everyone e-mailed and called. it is possible to know where someone is by tracking their cell phone. in theory, it is possible to completely fake your online existence. it is hard. let's hear from california. independent line. caller: how's it going? thank you for the chance to be able to call in. i have a few things to say and a question. i want to say that we can look
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at the percentage of americans who are against this. the only ones out of touch are those who are voting against it. my question is how do we get them in line to go along with the wishes of the american people? >> you are asking me? that is a good one. the most recent house vote failed. to defund thees metadata collection program. i think the politics of this have shifted. .'m not sure what else to say if you believe the government is pursuing something wrong, it is
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your right and your prudence to speak up. >> jonathan stray mentions that toe on the defense amendment defund the program. that came to the defense funding bill. .t failed by a vote of 206-217 you can see the numbers of democrats and republicans voting. let's go to oklahoma. caller: hello. >> go ahead. a police officer wants to get data of the calls and all that, he would have to get a search warrant. he can only do that if you suspect someone of being a criminal. is doinge government that for all americans across the nation, that sends the
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message that all of you americans are all criminals. i find that extremely insulting. >> a sound similar to a woman the huge issue with this program is that they are taking everyone's data. you can have reasonable suspicion of the entire country. different what is about the surveillance. you can watch everyone all the time. that was not possible before. that.d restraint on a lot of people feel that not only is the legal restraint not there, but that we were lied to about the extent of the surveillance. >> how do you see edward snowden 's role in this?
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i'm not asking if you think he is a whistleblower or a traitor. you have gotten a lot of information. will he bears, how remembered? how will all of this be remembered? we would not be having this conversation without edward snowden. , this issue has been attempted to be raised a number of times and were unsuccessful. say what wast happening. they were raising warnings that if americans knew, they would be shocked. to the extent that the discussion we're having now comes because of what he did, this changes things.
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that ultimately will be a different story of a legacy. >> a sympathetic view toward ofard snowden is the head the aclu. here is what he had to say at the aspen summit. [video clip] >> i will go out on a limb. not that i am not already on a limb, but let me fall off it. [laughter] edward snowden, i think he did this country a service. i have not said that publicly until this point. i think he did this country a service by starting a debate that was anemic and left to government officials or people do not fully understand what was happening. regardless of where you come out on a, there is a big public debate. many lawsuits filed on the nsa program. wait a minute. that is not the law i thought i
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signed. somed it rather trouble when i find that carney goes to such lengths that he is not a human rights activist and not able to lower. who made him king of the human rights community? right? >> mcbride as criminally charged snowden. to send a bad message people who try to take the laws into their hands by doing this is to make public service. >> the system has not worked. we have tried seven times to get this issue into public court. we were kicked out of the court. the justice department lawyer says it was a cascade of speculation when our client said we think the data has been collected by the government.
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wered no proof, so there no standing. the only way we could get before the courts and have a standing was because snowden leaked the fact that we are -- he fixed the standing problem. >> ahead of the american civil liberties union and panelist in a spirited discussion on the nsa program and edward snowden. that is our topic tonight. it is part of our c-span town hall. i am joined from columbia university where he is on the faculty at the journalism school is jonathan stray. we are taking your phone calls on this issue. republican line. good evening. go ahead. caller: i think everyone is missing the big picture.
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the terrorists are winning the war. by bringing down the twin towers, they have made our government spend trillions of dollars that has led to our deficit. country is our getting torn apart because of our civil liberties which our country was founded on. because they brought the twin towers down, the government is taking our civil liberties away. isan understand what the nsa doing. i wish i could trust the government, but we can. >> do or do is the government brought the twin towers down? caller: no. the terrorists. listen to me. because the terrorists brought the towers down, they made us
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spend trillions of dollars that led us to the deficit. more, they made as paranoid. we are losing our civil liberties. they are winning because they made us spend money and because we are tearing each other apart because our government -- i can understand why the government is doing this, but we are losing our civil liberties. it is because of the terrorists. >> let's hear from jonathan stray. well, things have certainly changed after september 11. we have had categories of laws that were on the table before -- unthinkable before.
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assassinating overseas. that was new. there are a bunch of laws that have changed. least, a departure from long-standing legal principles. all of that happened more than 10 years ago. what we are seeing today in this discussion on the current court comings we are finally to grips with what we have done as a country. we are starting to review many of these questions in a public discussion. it is a discussion that many people felt should have happened in 2001 for various reasons. >> what do we know of similar programs by u.s. allies such as the uk and france and canada? >> in some ways we know more
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about the british intelligence agency. we know the details of how much information they are collecting. as of last year, they have itked over 200 fiber off tables. these are the main cables that carry telephone and cable traffic between countries. it is very broad. document -- mailed a word document. the a mentioned google map stuff. that was dirty days. that is a remarkable scale -- that was 30 days.
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that is a remarkable scale. it started to come out that they have an interception program. i cannot say anything about canada. you have to assume that most technologically advanced countries have a pretty serious program going on. in many cases, it is a lot more others arehan what doing. cannot countries, you post things on social media. interferencethis being the internet as part of a issue.
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we're at a point in history government is trying to extend the balance of their control in ways of which i do not in is good for the most part. >> a quick check on facebook before we go back to calls. do you support the nsa program? linda says -- no. why does a government need to spy on the average american? and the patriot act was written in, foreign intelligence -- surveillance now is on steroids down to our credit card usage. big brother, time to rein it in. was thesays -- irs final straw. "to cpan. my question is i do not
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believe that we really know who snowden is working for you who manning was working for. we see the arab spring out of today onnd now snowden policies that should have been discussed more energetically back in 2006 when lawsuits started and the court said they had no ground to make that suit. now we are paying attention. i do think it is kind of like that seesaw thing where they go to far to the right and then they have gone too far to the left. i kind of agree with that one republican caller. one thing that is bothering me calling isreal a --
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presenceg this nuclear and shutting down embassies all over the place out there, it seems like the timing of this is amazing. i'm not sure who snowden is working for, frankly. it might serve somebody's purchase -- purpose. thank you. of topics a lot there. i have no information on who snowden may or may not be working for. i do not think anyone can know that. . do find it interesting you could have flown to hong to the chinese and we would have never known about it. that itmake arguments helps the enemies with
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information going public. i understand that. it is a legitimate question. start a publicis conversation that could not have existed before. he solved the standing problem for some of these lawsuits. whether or not he has changed russia orions with china, he has shaken things up. -- security is complex for increasingly more complex reasons. it is why ethics and effort is a was naturally at the top of government. there are some safeguards that have been built into programs. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> chief alexander was director of nsa.
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we took them to the floor of the operations. it is not only the people who are monitoring the situation. it is the fbi and lawyers. signs are plastered all over the place. the definition of what constitutes an american. there is congressional oversight . there is an inspector general. all kinds of safeguards. i met with george bush when he talked about this program when it was first revealed by the new york times. somebody ina calls the united states, i want to know who they are calling. that is the underlying philosophy of this program. that is the purpose. we are talking again. it tends to spill over into people thinking we are monitoring their content. we are not. these are metadata.
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envelopeside of the that is sent to your mailbox. that information. and the date stamp and the postage. stray, do you think the director painted an accurate picture of the program? >> i think there is a problem with metadata. it is not the content. who you talk to, who do associate with is in many cases more valuable the private information of what you are saying. there is looking at networks of people and communities and looking at their patterns of influence. -- ink it is metadata
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-- and they have posters on the wall and regulations and agents monitoring it. i suspect there have been strong and good faith efforts to protect americans and the constitution within the nsa. even if all of that is true, we are still left with a problem. if all of this is happening in secret, how can be sure it will not be used? how can we be sure the compromises that they have made are the right ones? i think the trail is mostly about the fact that our leaders people, were as not responsible enough to not be
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trusted to have a discussion about where to put the limits. >> a couple more minutes with our guest jonathan stray. we are looking at the nsa surveillance program. ohio. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate it. >> sure. rumsfeld said we do not know what we do not know. i think that is true. has not know what snowden released that is bad. i know what we were told, but i do not know exactly. example in florida, a bus with a microphone. someone can be listening to me having a conversation about business. people can listen in to my
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conversation for opportunity for themselves and not necessarily for some nefarious reason. us do not know from the people i talk to and the news i hear, i do not know what is going on. >> thank you. any thoughts on his two points? digging of all, we are to find out what is going on. i hope people find the story a row for pro-publica -- i wrote for pro-publica useful. -- espects to the informationrivate
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-- if you're talking to a friend at home, you have an expectation of privacy. the nsa program is that nothing is private. the government is allowed to record all of your communications or at least metadata without any suspicion or individualized focused. .hat is the issue that is the erosion of the notion of privacy. stray has joined us this evening from columbia university in new york where he teaches journalism. i teach the intersection of computer science and journalism. it is journalism with computers. if you have a large volume of information such as from the
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government or a company, you have to be able to sort through that. it deals with questions like this one where it has a significant and technical component. you cannot really talk about the story without also talking about a lot of the technological details. extent oftioned the an article -- where can viewers find that? >> on the propel the capa -- pr o-publica website. >> jonathan stray, thank you for joining us. our conversation continues on the nsa program. there are a couple of ways to participate -- or by phone, at a, and on twitter. -- facebook, and on twitter. we need to have the
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conversation -- what are our civil liberties work? your sister's like? 1000 lives? and then accept the cost. caller: hi. can you hear me? >> sure can. caller: i'm a farmer from minnesota. the founding fathers are rolling in their graves about what is going on with the constitution. let me give you some questions. if i were to log on and research inspired magazine, i wonder i'm at risk by the monitor by the nsa. or if i were to research the question online how to build a nuclear weapon, what is my risk of the nsa monitoring that information? i have as ace do taxpaying citizen and as a farmer that my online activities are not being monitored? i wonder what assurance i have
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that this very telephone call into c-span is not being traced or monitored? how do c-span know the telecommunications are not being observed by the nsa? question i have not heard people talk about. what is the psychological issue regarding fear and paranoia? is heavye of the nsa on the american citizens. the american citizen is feeling a lot of fear and anxiety about what the nsa is doing. i would love to see a discussion if the founding fathers could be of themback to life having a discussion with the current leadership at the nsa. that would be fascinating. we appreciate you calling us this evening. pennsylvania. independent line. you are on the air. caller: i will make it brief.
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i believe an argument can be made that the nsa is not cost effective. because we cant all agree that the terrorists are not foolish. they know what the nsa is doing. i'm guessing that the terrorist are not using their phones or the internet. if they are, they are probably sending out misleading information. the money can be spent elsewhere were wisely. >> thank you. pennsylvania. republican line. caller: thank you to c-span. it is one of the guilty pleasures in life. one thing that everyone has to remember is that this program has been in effect for somewhere around seven or 10 years. i do not know how long it took to get to full speed. the russians sent us two letters
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about the boston bombing suspect others. nobody use the system correctly to connect the dots. on one of the sunday talk shows, summons that this is just metadata and not conversations. it is just zeros and ones. this conversation i'm speaking to you is zero and one. there's is almost no analog or telephone line left in the united states. >> right. >> when they try to collect metadata, how did they stop it from picking up the actual data of the phone call? i would be amazed if it has not happened by accident at least a dozen times since they have started this program.
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for years.t. i had access to everything in the company. >> when you say you had access, give us insight. what could you see? >> >> i could see every file on every server. >> within the company that you worked for? >> yes. i worked for news organizations, and it was my responsibility not to tamper with anybody's information or go where i should not go. lookw others that would for files about salaries or files about who got what vacation.


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